Otto Mena

Title: Industrialization and the Intellectual Foundations of Socio-Economic Division in Guatemala

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Erik S. Reinert 

Opponent: Associate prof. Dr. Caetano Penna

Defense: 8 June 2018


Abstract: Drawing from the German Historical School method, the present work investigates the trajectories and divisions throughout the history. Family networks in Guatemala that function as a corporation, with 22 families in the core and 26 adjacent, have used the state as a veil to maintain the power. The element that as family networks allowed them to survive during an economic crisis and power emptiness, has been its ability to diversify its economy and take the place of the State to preserve their domain and remain stay in power as a cohesive block. It is examined the evolution of two countries of the postcolonial Central American Federation. Costa Rica and Guatemala, and how early on different kind of elites and production matrix produced utterly different societies. It is for this reason that the present study present as units of analysis the history of industrialization from the colonial time, the relations of power and role of the elites and their ideology embodied in institutions, the legal system, and universities as vehicles to propagate the ideas. The ideology is promulgated by intellectuals that provide specific social imaginaries that are key for these families to maintain the political hegemony of their ancestry. The role of the two foremost intellectuals of the post-colonial time is examined.


Keywords: Industrialization, Family Networks, Organic Intellectuals, Power Relations, Universities